German parliament to examine Afghanistan mission, evacuation

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BERLIN (AP) — The German parliament will set up a commission of inquiry into last year's evacuation mission from Afghanistan and a fact-finding commission on Berlin's two-decade involvement there, lawmakers said Thursday.

Senior lawmakers from the three parties in Chancellor Olaf Scholz's governing coalition and from the main opposition Union bloc of ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement that the two panels would be established before parliament's summer break starts next month.

They described it as “a strong signal” that the government and opposition had agreed on the move, and said the aim of both commissions is to learn lessons for the future.. The Union bloc led the Germany government for 16 years under Merkel until December.

Germany had the second-biggest contingent in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan until last year's withdrawal, and for years oversaw security and training efforts in the north of the country.

Following the subsequent Taliban takeover of Kabul, Germany evacuated more than 5,300 people on its military flights, part of a sometimes-chaotic Western evacuation effort.

Far more people than Germany had promised to take in were left behind. The Foreign Ministry has worked to facilitate more departures by various routes, and authorities say that around 200 Afghans per week have been brought to Germany via Pakistan in recent weeks.

The Associated Press

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